Today I’m going to make cranberry sauce and cornbread for stuffing. If I feel really energetic I’m going to bake my pumpkin pie too. Yes, I know it’s not Thanksgiving yet but I like to take my holidays at a leisurely pace.
Don’t get me wrong. I like all the holiday cooking but I like to do it when that’s what there is to do. When the house is clean, the oven isn’t going to catch on fire, (it shouldn’t this year- I cleaned it recently and it certainly appears to be drip free, but stay tuned because there’s no telling…) errands have been run, guests are expected later. Then I can have a zen-in-the-moment experience and just cook.
I think I approach the holidays like that because my mother turned into a holiday martyr every Thanksgiving and Christmas and really, who wants to channel Mom’s most irritating quirks?
I think she may have actually liked Easter but that might just be because she took Good Friday afternoon off from work and didn’t feel so much like she had to do a big holiday meal and all the other household stuff- I also think she liked hiding Easter Baskets, but that’s another story.
It’s not really surprising that she glumped around the kitchen on Thanksgiving after she banished everyone else, sighed over the windows that she could be washing if she didn’t have to cook and plopped hor d’oeuvres down in the dining room with a that’s all you get until dinner make the best of it… dare I say it? Attitude.
The thing is- she did it anyway. She never would have not done Dinner on Thanksgiving or put up decorations, or wrapped presents for Christmas. Ditto for ironing the best tablecloth and polishing the good silver, and cleaning the house beforehand.
Really, I think she just needed someone to say thank you, we really appreciate it, you did a good job. Of course, no one did, because women then were just supposed to do all that.
So Thanks Mom, belatedly. You did a good job. I won’t martyr myself for the holidays- I’ve been given that option- but I can’t not cook either. …and as long as I have a few minutes while the cornbread is cooking I think I’ll iron and starch the tablecloth.